Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has taken part in a remote meeting with Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki and has discussed topical matters on the agenda of both countries – challenges posed by the coronavirus and economic recovery, negotiations on the European Union (EU) multi-annual budget, implementation of infrastructure projects of regional significance and initiatives of shared historical memory.
The two Prime Ministers have expressed their satisfaction about the fact that decisive actions to prevent the pandemic in Lithuania and Poland had borne fruit, and conditions had emerged for restrictions to be eased. Prime Minister Skvernelis has informed Prime Minister Morawiecki about the four-stage quarantine exit plan adopted after Easter in Lithuania and its implementation: the renewed operation of trade outlets, provision of most beauty care and medical services, permission for citizens to cross the country’s border, and resumption of air services as of 10 May.
Skvernelis has informed Morawiecki that the Baltic Prime Ministers had instructed their Ministers of Foreign Affairs to ensure constant exchange of information and coordination. Consideration is being given to opening the borders between the Baltic States as of mid-May and abandoning forced isolation for EU citizens.
‘It is important to ensure coordination of quarantine exit measures throughout our region. Only this way will we avoid a new wave of pandemics. Close cooperation between Lithuania and Poland on this matter is particularly relevant. We have jointly agreed to create conditions for facilitating the movement of border residents across the border’, has emphasized Saulius Skvernelis.
According to him, the first step could be to resume the movement of border workers across the border between Poland and Lithuania and student exchanges in the short term. Coordinated actions by the Baltic states and Poland would also contribute to a more active EU-wide action on COVID-19. In this context, Lithuanian and Polish industrial companies are invited to cooperate in supplying medical equipment and supplies to the regional and EU markets.
The Prime Ministers have also discussed implementation of the Baltic electricity network synchronization project and restrictions on electricity imports from third countries. Prime Minister Morawiecki has assured his support both on this and on the safety of the Astravyets NPP. Prime Minister Skvernelis has emphasized the importance of Poland in shaping the common position of the region. Synchronization is going to be discussed at a joint meeting of the Baltic Prime Ministers on Wednesday.
It was agreed during the conversation to actively coordinate positions on the European agenda. Cohesion policy, support for agriculture and job creation require European financial focus in the debates on the EU budget for 2021-2027. Both Prime Ministers have welcomed the progress of the successful implementation of the Rail Baltica, Via Baltica and GIPL projects.
‘Investment in shared infrastructure will continue to be a priority for cooperation between the countries’, said Saulius Skvernelis.
Both countries are united by a common historical memory, fight against disinformation. The Prime Minister of Poland has thanked Lithuania for its strong support to Poland in combating attempts to rewrite history.